Monday Morning Free Kicks: All Comes Down To This

Monday Morning Free Kicks: All Comes Down To This

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 15, 2007

In a league that needs excitement going into their post season playoffs, things couldn’t look any better than this right now for the MLS. With a few clubs fighting it out for the two remaining playoff spots, things have picked up more than probably any of us had expected this weekend.

Two games ended up as expected this weekend. Chicago tied DC and New York beat Kansas City. The Fire now leap over the Wizards in the standings and both clubs have to watch their back going into the final weekend. Then you have two more clubs that should have been really out of it before the weekend started, Columbus knocks off New England and Colorado knocks off Chivas…both games were road wins for the clubs who are points away from a playoff birth. Then there is the Galaxy who are winning like no other at the moment and have a game at hand going into the final week.

Could the league have asked for a better way to finish a season? No. What they will tell you is the new playoff format is working. Games are meaning something even if mediocre teams are getting in the playoffs. Excitement is still something in their mines and it all is very interesting to watch play out.

Going into the final weekend we know this, DC will be the Supporter’s Shield winner, its on their website so we already know this; Houston has to get at least four points to win the west (they hold head-to-head with Chivas); Dallas and New York are boringly in the playoffs and no one cares; and two spots are left to get with four clubs battling over them.

Now as far as who has what left, here it goes with a bit of my thoughts thrown in:

Chicago Fire: 37 points; faces LA on the final day of the season. Should only need a draw against the Galaxy to clinch a spot (not sure how things will work if they tie LA and Colorado beats RSL, the Fire and Rapids tied both games this season against one another, probably come down to goal differential and in that case could be the Rapids).

Kansas City Wizards: 37 points; probably the same as Chicago in the fact that they only need a draw against Dallas. Could be able to get that but Dallas has played KC very well this season and the Wizards haven’t exactly played well in the past two months, any points should get them in but a loss would more than likely end their dreams unless some others lose below them. They just need to take care of their own business really.

Colorado Rapids: 35 points; here is where things get interesting. A Colorado win over Real Salt Lake could get the Rapids in and it could also mean that they don’t get in. That is probably one of the biggest possibilities this weekend. However I still like Real’s chances of upsetting their bid for a playoff spot. Draws won’t get the job done, only a win and again they may not be enough in the end. But you may like their chances now that they knocked off a Chivas team on the road, something that no one had done this season until last night.

Columbus Crew: 34 points; Another interesting thing here, didn’t expect them at all to win on the road against New England but they did and somehow they are still in the hunt. Big game on tap with DC, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win this game now that DC has wrapped up the Supporter’s Shield. But again, even a win may not be enough to help them out but I would absolutely love my preseason prediction of them sneaking in at the 8th spot to still come true.

After this was wrote, I found out that the Crew were eliminated from playoff contention. Thanks for MLSnet updating their site early enough about this subject. Really helps with they wait a day or so to release this information.

LA Galaxy 33 points; Still control their own fate here. Two games left and one against a New York side that they can beat at home however they cannot overlook this game for one second or their playoff hopes go down the drain. They may get lucky though and only get four points out of this week and still reach the playoffs (with some help of course), but they really need the six points to be safe. Mainly because that is 39 points total and only one other can do better (they play a club that could do it if they beat the Galaxy). The chances are slim in some eyes and pretty good in others. Its a toss up really for me but I think it could be done. I know the league wants it to happen and if it brings some interest into the national media for the league in they playoffs then I am all for it.

So who will it be? My money is on Chicago and LA still. I am sure more details will come out about the final weekend for teams still in contention for a playoff spot. Once they do I will be sure to pass stuff like that along to you.